Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Tales of Bed Bug Woe

Should I be pursuing this or just be patient?

(4 posts)
  1. CB123

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 4 2012 13:04:42
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    So about a week ago I bought a leather couch off of craigslist. No problems before this.

    Three days in I noticed 4 bites on my arm. They swelled up quite a bit. I called the owner of the couch and asked him about it. Assured me he has pest control, no bed bugs, nothing. Tore couch apart. No sign of bed bugs that I could tell.

    Within the next two days or so I had about 10 more bites. They all start off small and then swell up pretty bad once I itch them. I freaked out and called a PCO. He looked at couch, bed, boxspring, and said no sign of BBs. Probably had poison oak or something. I said fine.

    Next day three more bites. I literally cut the couch open with a knife and looked at it in depth. Nothing. Still, I dragged the couch out and threw it away. Tore apartment apart. Nothing.

    Set off two bug bombs before work. Came home, tore place apart again. Found one small dead spider. Stripped bed, cut open box spring, etc. etc. Nothing. Went to bed.

    Next morning found two more bites on my thigh. Came home, tore place apart (again). Nothing. Set up flea trap (soapy water with light over it). Set up 4 of the CO2 traps that can be found here: julesnoise.com/22-2/

    Woke up with new swollen spot below my eye. Nothing in ANY of the "traps."

    Called another PCO. Came in, inspected bed and boxspring. Said nope. You might have fleas. Wash all of your stuff. If you are still getting bit call him back and he'll do a treatment for $150.

    I have bites above my eye, below my eye, right arm, left arm, legs, and torso.

    I've thrown away a bunch of crap, and the rest of it is at the laundromat.

    To me it seems like this is WAY too many bites for a bedbug infestation that CANNOT be found. This is a 700 sf apartment. Not large. I have at least 30 little bites/marks/whatever they are. I have found NO physical evidence of bed bugs. No smears, no blood, no husks, no bugs. I've moved literally every piece of furniture in this place I have. I don't have a lot. I've flipped over my entire bed and bed frame 4 times. I've taken the plates off and looked into any outlets in my bedroom.

    Couple questions:
    - Anywhere I can buy a real passive monitoring system around town without having to order one online?
    - Anywhere else I am missing to look?
    - The couch was in the living room for less than a week. Would it make sense that if bed bugs lived in it they would migrate out of it, set up shop somewhere completely different, and abandon their "home" in the couch? If they did wouldn't the logical place be somewhere in my bed?
    - Is there anything else I should do before I go completely f$*@ing nuts?

  2. CB123

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 4 2012 20:12:42
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    Update:

    I went to the doctor today to see what he had to say about it. He spent some time looking at me and told me that it looked to him like poison ivy or something similar. He said that in his experience looking at bed bug bites, that my bites weren't from bed bugs. He said that the bites that he's seen are not as diffuse or rapid as mine unless I had a major infestation.

    He took out a book and showed me pictures of folliculitis...which looked pretty much identical to a lot of the bumps I have. He prescribed me some ammoxicilin and told me to hold off on doing any more bedbug investigating until I let took 'em for 5 days.

    Regardless, before the doctors appointment I took the PCOs advice from earlier today and took every-single-thing out of my house (curtains included) that could be washed and washed it at the laundromat. If nothing else I know my stuff is clean. I'll keep ya'll posted.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 5 2012 1:43:45
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    To respond to your question, if you have bed bugs and they came from the couch, some of the bed bugs might stay in the couch if they can feed on you there (most of us spend some time lounging around and they can feed on you day or night if you're handy). Some would probably eventually move to the bed area, but it's hard to say how quick this would happen. I'm not an expert so would defer to them on this.

    Note that the only concern I have about your story is that you set off bug bombs. Those are problematic where bed bugs are concerned. They don't solve the problem, and moreover, they MAY spread bed bugs around your home. So if you did have them, they might now be hanging out further from the sofa for a bit. (See FAQs.)

    It is POSSIBLE that people are exposed to bed bugs for a while (weeks or months) and then suddenly begin to react, all at once, as if they're getting lots of bites in a short space of time. It doesn't seem to be very common.

    It happened to one PMP who posts here, who KNEW he was being bitten and not reacting, and then one day, lots of bites out of the blue.

    If this were the case, I think it would explain having a lot of suspected bites in a short space of time, but not an obviously huge problem. Though I think you'd find some fecal stains. Even if a few bed bugs bit you for months, you should see fecal stains.

    So for now, I would go with the doctor's idea. Some passive monitors might be a good idea too.

    Note that Jules Noise's ideas were not well received here (see this thread). Experts suggested his traps won't work well, if they work at all.

    That idea is for a active monitor (producing C02).

    The Bed Bug Beacon is a commercial active monitor which many here have used. Active monitors work best when they're run for a while and also not in competition with humans, which are going to be more attractive targets for a hungry bed bug. There's a DIY Co2 monitor which uses dry ice which is proven to work but others here have found it's more expensive than the Bed Bug Beacon for many of us in practice due to the cost/availability of dry ice.

    Passive monitors (pitfall/interceptor types) might be available via your local PCO, though maybe not the BBAlert Passive designed by David Cain, which is probably easier to get online (see the Useful Stuff page for links to FAQs on this and other products).

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. Amber22

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Oct 7 2012 21:36:18
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    See your doctor.
    I've spent the last month in a total state of panic over mysterious bites on my torso and back. Finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed with folliculitis as well. Treatable with antibiotics.
    I spent many nights reading these forums & tearing my home apart before deciding to see a doctor. I was terrified. However, like many other posters say - never assume you have bed bugs based on "bites" alone - there's lots of different things that may be causing it.


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